Tuesday, 30 June 2015

Introducing "Tyrion" the Little Owl

Tyrion, the Little Owl, at 3 1/2 weeks

Meet Tyrion, our new Little Owl Chick!

He was hatched out here at the Centre earlier this year, and is a huge success for us in being the first little owl we have bred, and a commendation for our new aviaries. Our breeding pair of little owls have been here for three seasons, the first in their old aviary, last year moved around a lot during the season due to new accommodation being built, and finally this year with all things settled we had success!

You have seen this photo above before, but it is one of my favourites. It really shows off how little he is on top of the gate. Of course the lovely iron work of the gate helps make the picture.

With most youngsters, but especially ones we rear, I normally try to do a few photo shoots for the record. These then act as souvenirs too for us keepers, and gets the animals used to cameras. So far with Tyrion we have had two shoots. Another hopefully in the next couple of days, and then a final one when he is fully feathered in a week or so.

They really do grow quickly, and are fully grown and looking like an adult owl in roughly 10 weeks! Incredible when you think about it. They normally start out as little ugly balls of fluff, but then develop in to beautiful owls... a real ugly duckling transformation.

I have never shot black and white, and very rarely change a photo to black and white. But I liked this one above, but it just didn't feel right in colour, so I tried a change and like it more this way.

These ones are from our second shoot, maybe a week later than the first, and you can see the difference already. Much more sure of himself and stable, bigger and more feathers.

We try to take our owl chicks away before 3 weeks old if we want to train them to join our flying team. You can take them later than this, but it is much more difficult, far easier to get them young and really imprint them on yourself. All our flying owls think they are people in little owl suits :-)

Getting him started at an early age! Always good to have a peeking owl shot.

Little owls often look really grumpy, good to see that Tyrion has mastered that look already!

I normally get the fisheye lens out at some point on a photo shoot, it doesn't always work, but when it does it gives a unique looking photo.

You can't beat a good old portrait though :-)

Keeper Lucy is rearing Tyrion, and will soon begin the flying training. Hopefully by the end of the summer he will be a fully fledged member of the flying team!

Thanks for looking :-)

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